INDIANAPOLIS — Hoosiers won't find President Donald Trump's name anywhere on Tuesday's general election ballot.
But the Republican chief executive left no doubt at an Indianapolis rally Friday that he views Indiana's U.S. Senate and congressional races as nothing less than a referendum on his first two years in office.
Trump told more than 7,000 cheering supporters in the packed Southport High School Fieldhouse they must vote Republican if they support what he's done to reduce unemployment, grow wages, increase military spending, prioritize border control and impose tariffs on foreign trade, including steel.
"America now has the best economy in the history of our country," Trump proclaimed. "The choice in this election could not be more simple: A Republican Congress means more jobs and less crime."
Few in the throng of red-hatted Trump backers, some of whom stood in line for hours outside the school to see the president, needed any persuading to vote Republican.
They came to hear, and roared the loudest, when Trump described what he envisions Democrats will unleash on the nation if they win at the polls.
"A vote for any Democrat this November is a vote to put radical Democrats in charge of the House, the Senate and every congressional committee, and that's not good for Indiana, it's not good for our country," Trump said.
"Democrats want to raise your taxes, they want to restore job-killing regulations, they want to shut down your steel mills (and that will happen), they want to take away your real health care and use socialism to turn America into Venezuela.
"As we speak, Democrats are openly encouraging millions of illegal aliens to violate our laws, overrun our borders and totally bankrupt our country."
The president did not provide any evidence for his claims beyond his own word. He also did not explain how even if Democrats won control of Congress they could enact any of those alleged policies over Trump's presidential veto.
The crowd embraced Trump's rhetoric while repeatedly shouting "Hell No," "U-S-A" and "Build the Wall."
The ostensible purpose of Trump's Indiana visit — to promote the Senate campaign of former state Rep. Mike Braun — was utterly neglected for much of the president's address.
After talking about himself for more than a half-hour, Trump briefly introduced Braun and let Braun speak for three minutes while standing alongside him.
Braun used the time to explain that he was inspired by Trump's 2016 presidential campaign to also run on his record as a businessman, rather than his years spent as a state and local elected official.
The president was far more enthusiastic during his 10-minute introduction of Bobby Knight, the former men's basketball coach at Indiana University, which Trump shockingly called "The University of Indiana" in a gaffe that appeared to briefly stun his audience.
Knight did not endorse Braun or even encourage people to vote.
Instead, Knight said he was motivated by the "Give 'Em Hell, Harry" slogan associated with Democratic President Harry Truman to coin a similar line for Trump: "Go Get 'Em, Donald."
Trump was introduced at the rally by Vice President Mike Pence, the former Indiana governor.
Pence assured the crowd that Braun would be a loyal vote for Trump's entire legislative agenda.
The president is slated to hold another rally Monday in Fort Wayne in perhaps a sign of how significant Trump views this year's elections for Republicans in Indiana, a state he won two years ago by nearly 20 percent.
On Sunday, former President Barack Obama will encourage Northwest Indiana voters to instead cast their ballots for U.S. Sen. Joe Donnelly, and the rest of the Democratic ticket, during a rally at the Genesis Center in Gary.